Some great, many good, some less good, but nevertheless a very positive summary of predictions for Microsoft in 2008 :
… 2008 is going to be a whopper for Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT) from a product release standpoint, with February’s three-pronged megalaunch of Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008, and SQL Server 2008 looming large on the horizon. CRN takes a look ahead at some decisions and events that could potentially take place in and around Microsoft in the coming year. …
1. Microsoft will extend the February 2009 system builder deadline for Windows XP Professional.
2. Windows Genuine Advantage will continue to cause grief for users
3. Microsoft will continue to cause insomnia for VMware executives
… Microsoft, just by announcing Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V, is freezing the market. If Microsoft announces it will be embedding virtualization and providing attractive licensing terms, people are going to wait,” said Herardian.
Chris Amaris, CTO at Convergent Computing, an Oakland, Calif.-based solution provider, said next year will be when customers begin to ponder the question of whether to stick with VMware or go with Hyper-V. And since the Microsoft offering is going to have a better price point, “that’s how they’re going to get their foot in the door,” said Amaris. ….
4. Sharepoint adoption will continue to grow and grow
… Already one of the fastest growing offerings in Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT)’s history, Office Sharepoint Server was a big hit with partners in 2007, and adoption is sure to continue growing next year. Many ISVs have found healthy and sustainable revenue streams by building applications on top of the platform, for tasks such as project management, business intelligence and workflow.
In July at its annual financial analyst meeting, Microsoft announced that Sharepoint revenue grew 35 percent to more than $800 million in fiscal year 2007, and that Sharepoint is on track to become a billion dollar business.
Although it initially attracted interest primarily from medium and large enterprises, Sharepoint is now penetrating the SMB space, and channel partners are helping to deliver the message that content management and portals aren’t exclusive to enterprises. And combined with Windows Sharepoint Services, a subset of Sharepoint features that Microsoft offers for free, this message will likely be heard by all segments of the market in 2008. …
5. The channel will deal with a talent shortage in unified communications
… While they’re excited about the prospects of adding unified communications to their portfolio, some solution providers predict that the channel is about to face a shortage of talent necessary to deploy the technology. While this wasn’t an issue for Microsoft partners in 2007, VARs have differing opinions of whether the same will hold true in 2008. …
6. Vista service pack 1 won’t spur Vista adoption like XP SP1 did with XP
7. Companies still won’t be ready to buy their security from Microsoft
8. Windows XP service pack 3 will be delayed at least a quarter
9. The release of Dynamics CRM 4.0 will have a bigger-than-expected impact on the SaaS market
… With this week’s release to manufacturing of Dynamics CRM 4.0 — the first major update in three years — Microsoft has put CRM suppliers such as NetSuite, Oracle, Sage, Salesforce.com and SAP squarely in its crosshairs. …
… People want flexibility in the IT decision making process and CRM 4.0 gives them the power of choice, says Mike Belongie, vice president of sales and marketing at Axonom, Minneapolis.
“I think Microsoft is going to kill Salesforce with the Dynamics CRM 4.0 release. It’s now a truly a multi-tenant product, and I’ve been closing deals with the message that it’s O.K. for customers to start out with the hosted version,” said Belongie. …
10. It Will Be Hotter Than Hades At WPC 2008